Honors Academy Scholar Spotlight: Research - Irfan Peer (ARESTY)

Irfan Peer


Irfan Peer, a determined and hard-working student from the Engineering Honors Academy, was among the limited number of students fortunate to make their way through the competitive ARESTY selection process, having the chance to work on a fascinating project over the summer of 2020 while being part of the Summer Science Program. 

During that time, Irfan researched under Professor Ahmed Azziz Ezzat from the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department in the School of Engineering, working towards developing an accurate, data-driven method capable of producing short-term forecasts of solar irradiance and power at fine spatial and temporal resolutions in Piscataway, New Jersey. Professor Ezzat and Irfan's work contributes to accurately characterizing the variability of solar energy, one of the main challenges to boosting its economic outlook and making it mainstream.

As a result of his research experience, Irfan gained much insight into life in academia, enhancing his analytical reading and oratory skills from scanning documentation for important points and preparing fluid, coherent, concise presentations. His experience also contributed to him gaining valuable technical skills from using the R programming language as a data visualization and machine learning forecasting tool, the primary engine powering the research. Also, a key benefit that Irfan felt from being part of the Summer Science Program was developing project management skills, working productively to meet tight deadlines, producing top-quality work that exceeded the requirements specified.  

The efforts of Irfan’s research with Professor Ezzat concluded that a special variant of the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model, using data processed through an ln function, worked best in handling forecasting in Piscataway, New Jersey. This “ln ARIMA model” outperformed four other models in rigorous testing, showing its robustness in handling forecasting in Piscataway. Based on the findings, the “ln ARIMA” is reliable and can be trusted by solar grid operators to accurately forecast in the short-term, potentially being useful in diverting their resources and planning ahead on pricing and storage matters.

Overall, Irfan feels that the ARESTY Summer Science program is a great way to keep busy over the summer, being involved with a fascinating project with an experienced professional while exploring the research world in an organized, impactful environment while meeting fellow students sharing the same passions. 

Irfan is a Computer Engineering student, also pursuing a double major in Computer Science. 

He is part of the Rutgers Engineering Honors Academy Class of 2023.

Written by Irfan Peer (ENG'23). Edited by Parinita Jain (ENG'23).